Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Runaway

A big thanks to Kathy Fuller for being with us this week! Kathy did a book giveaway of her new release A Daring Return and Lady Araujo is the winner! :)

This weekend and through Labor Day we're at the State Fair, manning a booth, so things are crazy here for me. This is something I wrote for kids, but it works for more than just kids. :)

The Runaway

Have you ever run away? I have. I was about 8 and I packed my little suitcase with a book and a dolly blanket and left. I went over the hill and found a comfy clump of tall grass and read for a loooooong time. Then I got hungry. Guess where I went? You got it. Back home.


But you know, that's not how Jonah did it.

Jonah knew what God wanted him to: go to Ninevah and tell them about God. So what did he do? He ran the opposite direction.Was he happy? NO!

Jonah's disobedience put a lot of men's lives in danger. Think about the storm that blew up. The sailors were very experienced in their job, they weren't just fair-weather sailors. But these guys were scared—really scared! They were throwing the cargo—the stuff that would be sold so they could get their paychecks—overboard in the hopes that a lighter ship would help them survive the super-storm they were in.

So what has God told us to do? It's similar to what God told Jonah. We're to tell our friends about Jesus. Are you obeying or are you running away?

If we don't tell them about Jesus, we're putting their lives in danger. Just think about it: if a person hasn't accepted Jesus' gift of forgiveness and salvation, where will they go when they die? They'll go to hell. They'll never get to be with Jesus. And not just that. When they go through hard things in their lives they won't have Jesus who can help them through that hard time. Our friends need to know about the wonderful friend and treasure we have. They need to know about Jesus.

How do we know that God wants us to tell our friends about Jesus? Because He tell us to. In Mark 16:15 it says, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Our friends are part of 'all creation' so let's tell them that Jesus is the Good News!

So, what are you going to do?Are you going to be like Jonah and runaway, or are you going to obey God?Was Jonah happy? NO!
Don't be like Jonah!!
Be like Jesus!

ps--You can read about Jonah's runaway attempt Here

Don't forget to check out the giveaways still in progress:
Joyce Magnin and Judy Gann.
Those giveaways will be open until Wednesday night and the winners will be posted on Thursday.

Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

with Joyce Magnin

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Joyce is the Woman of Recognition this week over at Exemplify! Yay for Joyce!! Exemplify is one of my favorite sites for women, and one I'm more than thrilled to be a very small part of. The team of women there is spectacular! Be sure to go over and learn more about Joyce! :)

Welcome to Patterings, Joyce! I'm so glad to have you. Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
I was nine years old. Truly. I wrote a story and my teacher liked it and I knew at that moment. I know it sounds hard to believe but yeah, that was it. It just took a few years to happen.

Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. It's a hoot. Funny, poignant. I loved exploring the characters and making them quirky and zany. I love all the characters but I suppose Griselda is my favorite because I spent most of the time with her. She's just trying to get through each day as best she can and take care of everyone, just like the rest of us. She has some different challenges is all.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Time. I am so busy. I try to find time by getting up early and working before the day starts for the rest of the world.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
I guess Agnes Sparrow simply because of who she is. I really needed to work with her because she was always in one place.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I think I should be crowned Queen of Quirk. For me Quirky is a life style. Here's a few. I eat spaghetti sauce but hate tomatoes. I have a birthmark shaped like Peter Cottontail. I always leave a little food on the plate, don't know why, just do. I once took a job as a dog groomer even though I had NO training and made the owner of two champion Scotty dogs very upset. Got fired that same day. I will drive twenty miles out of my way to avoid traffic, I fake-sing at church because I have a lousy voice, but I know God understands and loves me just the same. (oh, guess I need to stop that now). I don't think Panda Bears or Koalas are cute. I have gotten this far through life having never owned an umbrella. I have an irrational fear of bridges among other irrational fears. I wonder if my finger prints are fading because of all the keyboarding and clicking I do and just recently learned that I have developed an allergy to plastic. TMI? Then let me just say I love love love Jesus and in spite of all my quirks I am happy being just who He wants me to be.

LoL. Quirks are good, Joyce! Truly, they are. They make you unique. :)
Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?

Of course. The Dentist. I am the world's worst dental patient. Extremely phobic. I hate the pain because I think it's so close to my brain! The signals don't have far to travel. I dread the whole experience. I also put off laundry, dishes, bills.

What would a perfect day for you look like?
A perfect day? Um. Do they exist? One with no interruptions.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
From hard-boiled detective to Fannie Flagg to Mary Kay Andrews and Ann Patchet.

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
M&Ms and Rice Pudding. Weird huh. Every once in a while there's nothing like a big old cheesesteak and chocolate milkshake to bust through the writing doldrums.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
Redemption, I suppose. Grace?

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
My success is His success.

Oh, I like that!
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise is scheduled to release next fall from Abingdon Press Fiction. It's a about a newly widowed woman, Charlotte, who buys a double-wide trailer in the Paradise trailer park and forms the women in the park into a softball team. Silly, huh, but Charlotte has quite an adventure and does some serious Kingdom-stretching work in the process.

That sounds fun, Joyce! Thanks so much for being with us this week!

You can keep up with Joyce on her website and blog, purchase The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow at Amazon and CBD.

Joyce is giving away a copy of The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Thursday, September 3rd to see if you've won. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar. OR you could sign up to have Patterings updates delivered to your inbox. If you do, it will give you a bonus entry in the giveaway, otherwise you can enter twice--once for each post you leave a comment on. :^)

Don't forget to check out the other giveaways still in progress:
Kathleen Fuller and Judy Gann.

Friday, August 28, 2009

meet Joyce Magnin

Today is Fiction Friday and Julie is hosting for us at The Surrendered Scribe. Be sure to run over there for links to fun fiction.

For my fiction this week, stop by Adding Zest for A Tiger Doth Make and see what's up with these roses.

And now I'd like to introduce you to Joyce Magnin!

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Joyce Magnin mom to Rebekah, Emily and ten year old Adam. She is Grammie to Cedar and Lemuel. She enjoys football, baseball, needlearts, cream soda and video games but not elevators. She lives in Havertown Pennsylvania where she watches over a neurotic parakeet who thinks she's a chicken.

You can keep up with Joyce on her website and blog.


The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow is the story of an unusual woman, Agnes Sparrow. No longer able or willing to leave her home, where she is cared for by her long-suffering sister Griselda, Agnes has committed her life to the one thing she can do-besides eat. Agnes Sparrow prays and when Agnes prays things happen, including major miracles of the cancer, ulcer-healing variety along with various minor miracles not the least of which is the recovery of lost objects and a prize-winning pumpkin.

The rural residents of Bright's Pond are so enamored with Agnes they plan to have a sign erected on the interstate that reads, "Welcome to Bright's Pond, Home of Agnes Sparrow." This is something Agnes doesn't want and sends Griselda to fight city hall. Griselda's petitions are shot down and the sign plans press forward until a stranger comes to town looking for his miracle from Agnes. The truth of Agnes's odd motivation comes out when the town reels after a shocking event. How could Agnes allow such evil in their midst? Didn't she know? Well, the prayers of Agnes Sparrow have more to do with Agnes than God. Agnes has been praying to atone for a sin committed when she was a child. After some tense days, the townsfolk, Griselda, and Agnes decide they all need to find their way back to the true source of the miracles-God.

Here's an excerpt of The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow.

If you get off the Pennsylvania Turnpike at the Jack Frost Ski Resort exit, turn left, and travel twenty-two and one quarter miles, you’ll see a sign that reads: Bright’s Pond, Home of the World’s Largest Blueberry Pie.

While it is true that in 1961 Mabel Sewicky and the Society of Angelic Philanthropy, which did secret charitable acts, baked the biggest blueberry pie ever in Pennsylvania, most folks will tell you that the sign should read: Bright’s Pond, Home of Agnes Sparrow. October 12, 1965. That was the day my sister, Agnes Sparrow, made an incredible decision that changed history in our otherwise sleepy little mountain town and made her sign-worthy. “I just can’t do it anymore, Griselda. I just can’t.” That’s what Agnes said to me right before she flopped down on our red, velvet sofa. “It ain’t worth it to go outside anymore. It’s just too much trouble for you—” she took a deep breath and sighed it out “—and heartache for me.”

Agnes’s weight had tipped a half pound over six hundred, and she decided that getting around was too painful and too much of a town spectacle. After all, it generally took two strong men to help me get Agnes from our porch to my truck and then about fifteen minutes to get her as comfy as possible in the back with pillows and blankets. People often gathered to watch like the circus had come to town, including children who snickered and called her names like “pig" or “lard butt.” Some taunted that if Agnes fell into the Grand Canyon she’d get stuck. It was devastating, although when I look back on it, I think the insults bothered me more than they did Agnes.

Her hips, which were wider than a refrigerator, spread out over the sofa leaving only enough room for Arthur, our marmalade cat, to snuggle next to her. “I think I’ll stay right here inside for the remainder of the days God has set aside for me.” She slumped back, closed her eyes, and then took a hard breath. It wiggled like Jell-O through her body. I held my breath for a second, afraid that Agnes’s heart had given out since she looked so pale and sweaty.

But it didn’t.

Agnes was always fat and always the subject of ridicule. But I never saw her get angry over it and I only saw her cry once—in church during Holy Communion.

She was fourteen. I was eleven. We always sat together, not because I wanted to sit with her, but because our father made us. He was usually somewhere else in the church fulfilling his elder’s responsibilities while our mother helped in the nursery. She always volunteered for nursery duty. I think it was because my mother never really had a deep conviction about Jesus one way or the other. Sitting in the pews made her nervous and she hated the way Pastor Spahr would yell at us about our sins, which, if you asked me, my mother never committed and so she felt unduly criticized.

Getting saddled with “fat Agnes” every Sunday wasn’t easy because it made me as much a target of ridicule as her. Ridicule by proximity. Agnes had to sit on a folding lawn chair in the aisle because she was too big to slip into the pew. And since she blocked the aisle we had to sit in the last row. Our father served Communion, a duty he took much too seriously. The poor man looked like a walking cadaver in his dark suit, white shirt, and striped tie as he moved stiffly down the aisle passing the trays back and forth with the other serious men. But the look fit him, what with Daddy being the town’s only funeral director and owner of the Sparrow Funeral Home where we lived.

On that day, the day Agnes cried, Daddy passed us the tray with his customary deadpan look. I took my piece of cracker and held it in my palm. Agnes took hers and we waited for the signal to eat, supposedly mulling over the joy of our salvation and our absolute unworthiness. Once the entire congregation, which wasn’t large, had been served, Pastor Spahr took an unbroken cracker, held it out toward the congregation, and said, “Take. Eat, for this is my body broken for you.” Then he snapped the cracker. I always winced at that part because it made me think about broken Jesus bones getting passed around on a silver platter.

I swallowed and glanced at Agnes. She was crying as she chewed the cracker—her fat, round face with the tiny mouth chewing and chewing while tears streamed down her heavy, pink cheeks, her eyes squinted shut as though she was trying to swallow a Ping-Pong ball. Even while the elders served the juice, she couldn’t swallow the cracker for the tears. It was such an overwhelmingly sad sight that I couldn’t finish the ritual myself and left my tiny cup of purple juice, full, on the pew. I ran out of the church and crouched behind a large boulder at the edge of the parking lot, jammed my finger down my throat and threw up the cracker I had just swallowed. I swore to Jesus right then and there that I would never let him or anyone hurt my sister again.

Which is probably why I took the whole Agnes Sparrow sign issue to heart. I knew if the town went through with their plan it would bring nothing but embarrassment to Agnes. I imagined multitudes pulling off the turnpike aimed for Jack Frost and winding up in Bright’s Pond looking for her. They’d surely think it was her tremendous girth that made her a tourist attraction. But it wasn’t. It was the miracles.

At least that’s what folks called them. All manner of amazements happened when Agnes took to her bed and started praying. It made everyone think Agnes had somehow opened a pipeline to heaven and because of that she deserved a sign— a sign that would only give people the wrong idea.

You see, when my sister prayed, things happened; but Agnes never counted any answer to prayer, yes or no, a miracle. “I just do what I do,” she said, “and then it’s up to the Almighty’s discretion.”

The so-called Bright’s Pond miracles included three healings—an ulcer and two incidents of cancer—four incidents of lost objects being located miles from where they should have been, an occurrence of glass shattering, and one exorcism, although no one called it that because no one really believed Jack Cooper was possessed—simply crazy. Agnes prayed and he stopped running around town all naked and chasing dogs.

Pastor Spahr hired him the next day as the church janitor. He did a good job keeping the church clean, except every once in a while someone reported seeing him howling at the moon. When questioned about it, Pastor Spahr said, “Yeah, but the
toilets are clean.”

Pastor Rankin Spahr was a solid preacher man. Strong, firm. He never wavered from his beliefs no matter how rotten he made you feel. He retired on August 1, 1968, at the ripe old age of eighty-eight and young Milton Speedwell took his place. Milton and his wife, Darcy, were fresh from the big city, if you can call Scranton a big city. I suppose he was all of twenty-nine when he came to us. Darcy was a mite younger. She claimed to be twenty-five but if you saw her back then, you’d agree she was barely eighteen. Milton eventually became enamored with Agnes just like the rest of the town and often sent people to her for prayer and counsel.

But it wasn’t until 1972 when Studebaker Kowalski, the recipient of miracle number two—the cancer healing—that Agnes’s notoriety took front seat to practically everything in town. Studebaker had a petition drawn up, citing all the miracles along with a dozen or more miscellaneous wonders that had occurred throughout the years.

“Heck, the Vatican only requires three miracles to make a saint,” he said. “Agnes did seven. Count ’em, seven.” Just about everyone in town—except Agnes, Milton
Speedwell, a cranky old curmudgeon named Eugene Shrapnel, and me—added their signatures to the petition making it the most-signed document ever in Bright’s Pond. Studebaker planned to present it to Boris Lender, First Selectman, at the January town meeting. Town meetings started at around 7:15 once Dot Handy arrived with her steno pad. She took the minutes in short- hand, typed them up at home on her IBM Selectric, punched three holes in the sheet of paper, and secured it in a large blue binder that she kept under lock and key like she was safe- keeping the secret formula for Pepsi Cola.

That evening I settled Agnes in for the night and made sure she had her TV remote, prayer book, and pens. You see, Agnes began writing down all of the town’s requests when it became so overwhelming she started mixing up the prayers.

“It’s all become prayer stew,” she said. “I can’t keep nothing straight. I was praying for Stella Hughes’s gallbladder when all the time it was Nate Kincaid’s gallbladder I should have asked a favor for.”

Nate ended up with Stella’s prize-winning pumpkin and had to have his gallbladder removed anyway. Stella had apparently entered the same contest as Nate and asked Agnes for God’s blessing on her pumpkin. Stella forgave Agnes for the oversight, and Nate agreed to share the blue ribbon with her. But, as Agnes said, God blessed her blunder because Nate and Stella got married six months later. They’ve been raising prize-winning pumpkins ever since.

After the pumpkin debacle, Agnes wrote down all the requests in spiral notebooks. She color-coded the names and petitions, reserving black ink for the most severe cases, red for less dire but still serious needs (marriage troubles and minor illnesses like warts and bunions) and blue ink for the folks with smaller troubles like broken fuel pumps and ornery kids—that sort of thing.

“I got to get going now, Agnes,” I told her a few minutes before seven. “The meeting’s about to start and I don’t want to be late.”

“Could you fetch me a drink of juice and maybe a couple tuna sandwiches before you go? And how about a couple of those cherry Danishes left over from last Sunday?”

“I’ll be late, Agnes, and you already had your dinner.”

“It won’t take but a minute, Griselda, please.”

I spread tuna salad onto white bread and poured a glass of golden apple juice into a tall tumbler with strawberry vines. I was standing at the kitchen sink rinsing my fingers when I heard rain start—hesitant at first. It was the kind of rain that started with large, heavy drops and only a hint of ice in them but would soon turn to all snow. Most of the time foul weather meant a smaller crowd for town meetings, but with the Agnes Sparrow sign debate on the agenda I doubted the weather could keep folks away.

“I better go,” I said. “I want a seat in front on account of the sign situation.”

“Phooey,” Agnes said. “I told you I don’t want a sign with my name on it. I don’t want the glory.”

“I know.” I took a deep breath and blew it out. “I told you I’d take care of it.”

Agnes took another bite of her sandwich and turned on the TV while I buttoned my coat and slipped into yellow galoshes. I was just about to step outside when Agnes spoke up. Her high voice made her sound like a little girl.

“The Lord just gave me an idea,” she said, swallowing. “Tell that town council of ours that the sign should read, Bright’s Pond. Soli Deo Gloria. That’s Latin. It means—”

“I know what it means. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

That was when all the trouble started. And I don’t just mean over the silly sign. I thought the town’s enthusiasm to advertise Agnes’s prayers got something loosed in the heavens and trouble came to Bright’s Pond after that—trouble no one could have ever imagined.


You can purchase The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow at Amazon and CBD.

Joyce is giving away a copy of The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Thursday, September 3rd to see if you've won. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar. OR you could sign up to have Patterings updates delivered to your inbox. If you do, it will give you a bonus entry in the giveaway, otherwise you can enter twice--once for each post you leave a comment on. :^)

Don't forget to check out the other giveaways still in progress:
Kathleen Fuller and Judy Gann.

See ya tomorrow with an interview with Joyce!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

with Judy Gann

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Hey, it's winners' day here at Patterings! Linda has won Mary Moss' book, The Woman At the Well. And Glynis of Ordinary Days is the winner of Tammy Barley's book, Love's Rescue. Send me your snail mail addies, ladies, and I'll get them to our wonderful authors. :)

Mary and Tammy, thank you so very much for being with us here at Patterings! It was a pleasure having you!

Thursdays are dedicated to nonfiction during our Book Bonanza and today I'd like to introduce you to Judy Gann--a very special lady with a wonderful book. Even if you don't live with chronic pain, maybe someone you know does--not only will you enjoy reading Judy's book, but it will help you understand those that suffer with chronic pain--and you can share the book with them. And now, here's Judy Gann...

Whether it’s comforting those who are ill, exhorting parents to read to their children, or encouraging women, Judy Gann’s passion is to offer hope and encouragement through her writing and speaking. A former elementary school teacher, she has been employed as a children’s librarian for over twenty-five years. Judy is the author of The God of All Comfort: Devotions of Hope for Those Who Chronically Suffer (AMG/Living Ink Books). She’s written several magazine articles and contributed to compilations. Judy lives in Washington state where, when she isn’t writing, speaking, or playing matchmaker for books and readers, she enjoys reading, collecting children’s books, crocheting, eating Mexican food, cheering the Seattle Mariners, and taking long walks—even in the rain.

God of All Comfort
Pain. Fatigue. Despair. Where do you turn when you or a loved one is diagnosed with a chronic illness? Based on the author’s own experiences and interviews with seventeen other people with chronic illnesses, The God of All Comfort draws readers into God’s Word to find the strength, comfort, and hope they need to cope with the challenges of living with illness.

Judy, welcome to Patterings! I'm so glad you're here! Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing.
Books and words have been a part of my life ever since I borrowed my first library book, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. When I didn’t have my nose in a book, I was scribbling stories in a notebook. My first published piece was a character sketch of a six-year-old in a county high school literary magazine. In addition, I was an editor on my high school newspaper. Then college, followed by careers as a teacher and children’s librarian shoved aside my writing dream.

In 1988, a severe allergic reaction to a medication impaired my cognitive abilities. After spending nearly a year bedridden, I returned to work only to discover that I couldn’t even put together the words to write a simple memo. My dream of writing crumbled.

Over the next seven years, my cognitive abilities—including writing--gradually improved. I realized that my ability to write is a gift from God. God is a God of second chances. He gave my writing gift back to me and I have a responsibility to use it for Him.

What prompted you to write this book?
I’ve always kept a journal of my devotional times with the Lord as well as journaled my struggles with chronic illness—even if only a word or two on a page during the year I was bedridden. One day a friend came to me and asked, “Judy, which Bible verses comfort and encourage you when you’re battling poor health? I’d like to share them with a friend who is ill.”

Teri’s question stayed in my mind long after I pored through my Bible and journal and provided her with a list of verses. Years later her question motivated me to write The God of All Comfort.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
My biggest obstacle is tuning out my inner editor/critic who shouts in my head. Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy, scrutinizing every sentence as soon as it’s on the page—if not before it’s written down. I sometimes silence this ominous voice by using my AlphaSmart. With its small screen, the AlphaSmart limits what I can see and thus I’m less inclined to go back.

A few weeks ago a friend told me a helpful analogy for getting the words out on the page. She said to view my first draft as the scaffolding of a building. This scaffolding is essential to the building, but then it is torn down and all anyone sees is the beautiful building. No one may see my first draft (scaffolding), but if I don’t write it, I’ll never have a final draft. (Special thanks to Leslie Gould for sharing this analogy with me, and to the friend who told it to her.)

Alphies are great for that aren't they? I love that analogy, too!
What is your strangest habit?

My most irksome habit is that I’m too much of a creature of habit—love my routine and dislike changes and obstacles to my well-laid plans. One of my goals this year is to be more spontaneous and open to the little surprises the Lord brings into my life every day, and to take more risks—although you won’t see me skydiving anytime soon.

What would a perfect day for you look like?
I’d pack a picnic basket, my laptop, and a bag of books and head to the mountains before dawn. I’d find a spot along a creek and divide the time between writing, reading, and taking long walks. Are you sure I can’t stay overnight in a cabin?

LoL Judy, you are MORE than welcome to stay overnight at the cabin! Can I go with you? Pleeeeeze?
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

What a question for a librarian! My favorite books range from children’s books to women’s fiction, with some cozy mysteries mixed in. I usually have three books going at once—a children’s novel, the Christian fiction book I’m reviewing for the library system, and my evening/bedtime book. In addition, I try to read one book on the craft of writing each month. Right now I’m reading When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (children’s), Gone to Green by Judy Christie, Tender Grace by Jakina Stark, and Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas.

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
I usually need vanilla nut coffee to get me going in the morning. Although not much of a snacker, I admit to a weakness for Lindt’s white chocolate truffles and Mexican food.

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
The last two years have been extremely dry for me in terms of my writing. With publishing growing tighter and no contracts in sight, I was ready to give up on writing. Then one morning during my devotional time I read Jeremiah 17:7-8: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

We don’t usually think of bearing fruit during times of drought. Yet, although I couldn’t see it, the Lord was bearing fruit in and through my life and writing in the midst of this dry period. In the weeks and months that followed He’s shown me He isn’t finished using The God of All Comfort to encourage and provide hope to those with illness. In addition, the Lord is opening doors to some exciting new opportunities for me; all fruit that began during my “drought.”

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Although I don’t have a book coming out, I’m working on a book for parents on sharing books with young children. My background as an early literacy librarian and passion for encouraging parents to read to their children provides the material for this book. I’m also working on my first fiction manuscript.


Thanks so much, Patty! I’ve enjoyed visiting with you and your readers.

You can keep up with Judy at her web site, blog, on Twitter and Facebook.


You can purchase God of All Comfort at Amazon and CBD.

Here's an excerpt from The God of All Comfort.

A Roller Coaster Ride
 
“And He shall be the stability of your times.” (Isaiah 33:6, NASB)
 
“Come on, Aunt Judy,” begged Allie. “It’s just a baby roller coaster. You can do it.”
 
My hands and legs trembled as I climbed into a car on this “baby” roller coaster and sat down next to my niece. With a loud “clack-clack,” our car lurched to the top of the first hill.
 
I clamped my eyes shut and clung to the safety bar. Our car plunged to the bottom and then rocketed up the next incline. Surely I’d left my stomach at the bottom of the last hill.
 
Life with a chronic illness often mimics a roller coaster ride. Symptoms of diseases such as lupus and fibromyalgia are cyclical in nature. One day we feel great, exploding with energy. The next day, stricken with a flare-up, we descend to the depths of pain and fatigue.
 
This unpredictability disturbs my structured, orderly nature. Coping with symptoms today is far easier for me than not knowing how I will feel tomorrow. “Good” days are spoiled as I fret about how long they will last. Making plans becomes a distasteful guessing game. How do I respond when someone says, “But you were fine yesterday”?
 
As Christians we have the privilege of gripping something far more secure than a metal safety bar as we ride this roller coaster of volatile symptoms: the faithfulness of God. Jesus is as constant and unwavering today as he was yesterday and will be tomorrow. He is with us in the downward spirals as well as on the heights of our “good” days.
 
The roller coaster of chronic disease makes steep drops and corkscrew turns. Yet we trust in the living God who knows what is lurking around the next curve.
 
Lord, thank you that you are one constant in my life. In spite of my fickle health, may I live in today, trusting you for tomorrow.
 
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8)


Judy is giving away two copies of The God of all Comfort. To be entered in the book giveaways, leave a comment and check back on Wednesday, September 2nd to see if you've won. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar. OR you could sign up to have Patterings updates delivered to your inbox. If you do, it will give you a bonus entry in the giveaway, otherwise you can enter twice--once for each post you leave a comment on. :^)

Don't forget Kathy Fuller's giveaway that's still going on, too!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

with Kathleen Fuller

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Welcome to Patterings, Kathy! Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
My moment was when I was sitting in church nearly ten years ago. Our pastor was retiring and his son gave the sermon that day. He talked about stepping outside your comfort zone for Jesus. Instead of sitting happily on your mountaintop, go out and risk yourselves. I decided to do that with writing, which we all know is an emotionally risky endeavor. Writers subject themselves to rejection, ridicule, harsh reviews, among other things. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Lord’s prodding and equipping, even though I’m often tempted to race back up to my mountaintop. It’s safe and comfy there.

Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
That’s really hard, because I’ve enjoyed writing all my books, even though the process isn’t easy. Of my female characters I really liked writing Emily from A Clever Disguise. Out of the male characters, I think it’s a tie between Gabriel and Tobias from A Man of His Word. Those guys are different from each other, but they were equally enjoyable to write.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Procrastination, hands down. I’ve always put off things to the last minute, and I’ve spent years trying to correct that flaw. I have a calendar where I write down my deadlines and calculate word count and that helps keep me on some kind of pace. I also remind myself that someday my procrastinating is going to catch up with me if I continue working this way. That said, I do my best under pressure. I just don’t like being in the pressure pot!

LoL--I understand about procrastination! This Book Bonanza is helping me learn alot about NOT procrastinating. :)
What is your strangest habit?

You mean one I will admit to? ;) I like apples and blue cheese together, is that strange or quirky? I’m sure some people will think its gross, but I love it.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Um, all the time. See my procrastination problem above. The worst thing is doctor’s appointments—I have a fab doctor but I hate going to see him.

What would a perfect day for you look like?
Waking up late to a full pot of coffee, sitting on a balcony overlooking a beach or a mountain range, hanging out with my husband and then taking my laptop outside to work in the fresh air. In the evening my husband and I would go out to a nice restaurant, then take a long walk at the end of the day. Sigh. Eventually I will get my perfect day…

That sounds absolutely wonderful, Kathy!
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I like reading romance—95% of the books I read are romance. I know I should read outside my genre, but I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for a love story. I also enjoy reading mysteries, young adult, and the latest Christian vampire books. I’m half Romanian, it’s in my blood (pun intended). :-)

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
Diet pepsi and cheese sticks.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I love writing about God’s faithfulness to us and exploring how people go through their lives living their faith.

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
To have patience and trust in Him. He teaches me that lesson over and over and over. I’m hard-headed!

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I have several books coming out in 2009 and two in 2010. Here’s a list:
A Daring Escape (book 3 in the Royal Regency Mystery Series) from Avalon: August
A Man of His Word (book 1 in the Hearts of Middlefield Series) from Thomas Nelson: September
An Amish Christmas (an anthology with Beth Wiseman and Barbara Cameron) from Thomas Nelson: September
An Amish Gathering (an anthology with Beth Wiseman and Barbara Cameron) from Thomas Nelson: December
An Honest Love (book 2 in the Hearts of Middlefield Series) from Thomas Nelson: March, 2010
A Woman of Virtue (book 3 in the Hearts of Middlefield Series) from Thomas Nelson:
Summer or Fall, 2010

Thank you for being with us, Kathy!
You can keep up with Kathy at her website http://kathleenfuller.com/

Kathy is giving away a copy of A Daring Return. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Sunday, August 30th to see if you've won. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar. OR you could sign up to have Patterings updates delivered to your inbox. If you do, it will give you a bonus entry in the giveaway, otherwise you can enter twice--once for each post you leave a comment on. :^)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Meet Kathleen Fuller

Book Bonanza Banner

With us today is
Kathleen Fuller.
I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and now make my home in beautiful Geneva, Ohio. I’ve been married to James for 15 wonderful years (really, they have been wonderful!)  We have three terrific children, three dogs, and an overwhelmed cat. We have also raised cattle, pigs, and chickens at various times over the years. We would have gone into the goat business, but I had to draw the line somewhere. I started writing in 2000, and published my first short story a year later. Since then I have authored several short stories, novellas, novels, and have done a lot of freelance non-fiction work. I have also worked as an editor. I have a Masters degree in Special Education, emphasis on teaching the blind and visually impaired, and a Bachelors in Early Childhood/Elementary Education. I have taught all age groups ranging from age 4 to age 18. A few of my favorite things: my relationship with Christ, chocolate (of course!), autumn, a satisfying book, good friends, a sense of humor, people who don’t take themselves seriously, haunting melodies, NFL football, and did I mention chocolate?

You can keep up with Kathy at her website http://kathleenfuller.com/


A Daring Return
Eight years ago, Gavin Parringer left London after the woman he loved, Diana Dymoke, rejected him and married someone else. Suffering from amnesia, he has returned to England, unable to recall anything of his former life. He doesn't even recognize Diana, who is now a widow with regrets. Despite everything that has come between them in the past, Gavin finds himself falling in love with Diana for a second time. Diana also has feelings for Gavin, but she is afraid that if he remembers how harshly she treated him before he left London, he will have nothing to do with her. Thus, she keeps the truth of their prior relationship a secret. Yet when Diana's life is threatened and Gavin's memory returns, they both have to face the ghosts of their pasts in order to embrace a future together.

And here's the first pages of A Daring Return:


Prologue

April, 1812

A knot of pain formed in Gavin Parringer’s belly as agony enveloped his soul. Standing outside his best friend’s house, he struggled with the emotional battle raging inside him. Lights glowed from every room of the house, illuminating the glass windows. The stately manor seemed like a beacon on the darkened London street, and Gavin felt drawn to go inside.

Or rather, go back inside.

He paced the front walk, kicking a stone as he tried to decide what to do. He had already been inside once, an uninvited and unwelcome visitor to the party Colin Dymoke, Baron Chesreton, was hosting. It was the only party Colin had never invited him to, and the only time Gavin had ever crashed one. Yet he had a good reason to break all protocol and attend a party he had no business being at.

Colin’s sister, Diana, was the reason.

Never mind that this was her engagement party. Or that he was madly in love with her and she loved someone else. Or that her sister, Emily, had just declared her love for him, and he had to gently but firmly tell her that his heart belonged to only one woman. Or that common sense had finally reigned and he had left the party a few minutes earlier before spoiling the evening for everyone.

He shoved his hand through his hair. Blast, when did everything get so bloody complicated?

But there was one thing that was crystal clear—Diana was making a mistake. A huge mistake. And he had to try and stop her. He wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he didn’t.

His decision made, walked back through the doorway and went to the footman standing in the foyer. Gavin knew him from his numerous visits to Colin over the past year, since his friend had married Lily Breckenridge. Striding up to the shorter, rounder man, Gavin said, “I need something to write a note.”

The footman gave him an odd look, but nodded. “I shall fetch pen and paper for you, my lord,” he said, addressing Gavin, a viscount, by his appropriate title. The man then rushed off, leaving Gavin standing in the foyer, hoping not to gain any of the guests’ attentions. He quickly returned and gave over the writing materials. Gavin dashed off a few lines, folded the paper haphazardly and handed it back. “Please give this to Miss Diana at once.”

“My lord, she is quite busy entertaining her guests.”

“I realize that,” Gavin said, trying to keep the impatience out of his voice, “but this is a matter of great import.” His gaze narrowed. “Or should I have you fetch Lord Chesreton instead?”

The footman paled, and shook his head. “I shall give this to Miss Diana at once.”

Glad the man hadn’t called him on his bluff, Gavin rushed out the house and circled round the back, to the far corner of Colin and Lily’s garden, where he had instructed she meet him. As he waited he prayed his note had conveyed enough urgency to Diana for her not to dismiss his request. After several long, agonizing moments, he saw her come out the back door, looking over her shoulder as if to make sure she hadn’t been followed.

When she reached him, he could barely make out her features in the darkened night. But when she turned her face and tilted it upward to look directly at him, a sliver of soft moonlight illuminated her face, effectively stealing the breath from his lungs.

His heart swelled with love for her. She was such a beautiful creature, the loveliest woman in London, not only in his estimation but in almost everyone’s opinion as well. Diana Dymoke’s beauty was the stuff of legends, and since her debut in London society she’d had more suitors than any other ingĂ©nue in the ton. Gavin had counted himself among those suitors, until she had told him she had accepted William Garland’s proposal. She had delivered this news rather unceremoniously and with little regard to his feelings, destroying the impression he’d had that he had won her affections and they had a future together. Her revelation had hit him harder than a punch in the gut, breaking his heart in a thousand pieces. He doubted he would ever rebound from her rejection. For him, the only woman in the world was Diana Dymoke, and knowing she would never be his was something he couldn’t comprehend.

But his own emotional state was not his reason for meeting with her, and he was thankful she agreed to come out here, even at great personal risk. The spark of anger in her eyes showed that she understood the precariousness of their clandestine meeting. If they were caught together, in the dark, alone…her reputation would be ruins, and Gavin would probably be facing pistols at dawn.

“How dare you drag me away from my own engagement party,” she hissed, fury coloring her tone. “What is it you want?”

What he wanted was to take her in his arms and never let her go, but he couldn’t do that. Instead he had to focus on what he needed to tell her. “You cannot marry William.”

She huffed, crossing her arms over the glittery bodice of her gorgeous pale pink ball gown. “Gavin, I already told you—I do not love you. I love William, and I am going to marry him, and that is the end of this conversation.” Spinning around, she turned to go, but he snaked out his arm and grasped her shoulder. “Unhand me,” she said fiercely, but in a low voice.

He immediately released her, but moved to stand in front of her so he could keep her from leaving. “Diana, listen to me. I am not telling you this out of some misguided attempt to win you back.” Although he would if he thought he could. “I am here out of concern for your welfare. You must not marry William. He is a rogue of the worst sort—”

“I will not stand here and listen to you denigrate my future husband, who has been nothing but kind and attentive and loving toward me.”

“It is an act, Diana. Trust me, you are not aware of this man’s reputation.”

“And you are? How? And if he is such a rogue, how come no one else has said anything?”

Gavin paused for a moment, unsure of how much to reveal.

“I am waiting.”

He took a deep breath. “I had him investigated.”

“You what?” Diana stormed toward him, anger radiating from her perfect body.

With his next breath Gavin inhaled her sweet scent and fought to maintain control. She was even attractive when angry. In fact it gave her a fiery edge he didn’t know she possessed. But while he was trying to keep from kissing her, she undoubtedly wanted to clock him over the head. “I did it for you,” he said, trying to defend his position. “I had my suspicions about him, so I hired someone to investigate him.” He lowered his voice to a whisper. “I am truly sorry to say this to you, but you have to believe me. He will only hurt you.”

Anger flashed in her eyes. “The only person hurting me is you. This is a sad little attempt to come between me and the man I love, and I will not tolerate it. Understand me now. You can stop making up lies in hopes of convincing me that we belong together. It will never, ever happen.” She looked at him with disdain. “I never want to see you again, Gavin Parringer. Am I clear?”

Her words, coupled with the visual daggers she hurled his way, sliced his heart cleanly in two. She had made her point, and made it with painful clarity. Before he could respond, she whirled around and stormed off toward the house, and presumable, back to her cad of a fiancé. The thought of following her passed through his mind, but he ignored it as his own fury built inside. He had only wanted to help her, to save her from making the biggest mistake of her life, and all he got for his trouble was insults and more rejection.

Well, he’d had enough. He had told her sister Emily that he was leaving for a trip abroad, and he would go through with it. If Diana had given him even an inkling that she might have taken his warning to heart he would have cancelled his plans without hesitation. But she’d made her choice…now she had to live with it. He didn’t care what she did.

But as he walked back to his townhouse, he knew he would never stop caring, or loving Diana. She was his cross to bear, and always would be. Melancholy strangled him, threatening to squeeze the air from his throat. Perhaps some time in India would help dull the agonizing pain in his heart. Or perhaps not. He had no idea.

What he did know is that he couldn’t bear to watch her marry a man who would only hurt her in the end. That right there was enough of a reason to leave England.



Chapter One

May 1820

A chilly London wind cut straight through Gavin Parringer. Shivering, he tugged his overcoat closer to his body. True, the air wasn’t all that cold, but the overcast sky, coupled with the fact that he had spent the past eight years in the hot climate of India, made the chill even more acute.

He climbed inside the elegant black carriage assigned to take him to Tamesly House. His own personal carriage. He could barely wrap the idea around his head that he owned such a luxurious vehicle. Not when he couldn’t remember ever riding in one.

Sinking back in the plush velvet seat, he looked at Dr. Seamus Burns sitting across from him. The only person—the only thing—familiar to him since his return to England. The older man pulled his gilded watch out of his pocket, adjusted his spectacles before checking the time, then snapped the watch shut with a click.

The carriage lurched forward. Gavin pulled back the curtain enough so he could look out the window. He drank in every detail of the passing landscape, hoping something would click in his mind. The surrounding buildings ranged from magnificent to needing repair. People were everywhere, walking, riding horses, traveling in carriages and hacks. But nothing looked familiar. Nothing triggered the memories he was so desperate to retrieve. As the carriage passed over a bridge, he stared down into the murky water below.

“The Thames.” Seamus leaned forward and pulled open the curtain on his side of the window. “Haven’t seen it in years. Hasn’t changed a bit, I must say. Still dirty, smelly, and toxic to anyone foolish enough to try to swim in it.”

Gavin couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to take a dip in the obviously polluted waters. “I should recognize this river, shouldn’t I?”

“Aye, lad. You should.”

Although at thirty-two Gavin could hardly be called a lad, the good doctor had been addressing him that way for years. Gavin frowned as they left the bridge. He should recognize the Thames. The buildings. The people. Everything.

But he didn’t.

He clenched his fists. Frustration he hadn’t experienced in more than six years returned full force. “Why can’t I remember?” he asked through gritted teeth.

“You know the answer to that, lad.”

Gavin shut the curtain tight. “I know the reason, but I thought…I had hoped…”

Seamus’ compassionate expression could be easily seen through the dimness of the coach’s interior. He patted Gavin’s knee. “You had hoped returning home would trigger your memories. ‘Tis a strange thing, amnesia. Some patients fully recover—”

“And some don’t.” Running his fingers through his hair, Gavin leaned forward. “How long before we arrive?”

“Shouldn’t be too long.”

“This entire journey has been too long.”

“Aye. That I agree with.”

Gavin set his elbows on his knees and hung his head. His body swayed with the movement of the carriage. He resisted the urge to pull out the letter he had received a month ago and re-read it, but that wasn’t necessary. He knew the contents by heart. The missive had been the impetus for his return to London.

Dear Lord Tamesly,

I hope this letter finds you healthy and well. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Cecil Buttons, the solicitor for your estate. I cannot tell you how happy and relieved I am to discover that you are alive in India. We had feared you dead for we hadn’t heard a word from you since your departure from England eight years ago. I must assure that I never gave up hope. I spent a considerable amount of personal time and resources to track you down.

Now I must get to the point. Your estate is, unfortunately, in a shambles. I have done the best I can in your absence to take care of your holdings in Lancashire and the family estate in Aberdeen. However, I have faced considerable opposition from your cousin, who has been petitioning the court to declare you deceased, thus acquiring your title and what is left of your estate. Through some intricate legal maneuvering, and with the help of your friend Lord Chesreton, I have been able to keep your cousin from reaching his goal. But I’m afraid that the stalling has come to an end. If you do not return to London posthaste, you will lose everything.

I do not know what has kept you in India, and why you have chosen not to contact me during the last eight years, but I implore you to respond to this letter and let me know what you intend to do.

I remain in your service,

Cecil Buttons, Esq.

Gavin had been shocked to receive the letter, and even more shocked at its contents. For years he had wondered about his past, about the fleeting memories of the life he’d had before the accident. He knew he was from England, since the contrast between him and the people of Calcutta had been glaring. But how he’d gotten to India was a mystery, one even Seamus couldn’t help him solve.

Now he at least knew he was a lord of some sort, and owned an estate of unknown value. An estate in trouble, if the letter could be believed. Which Gavin wasn’t sure he did. Yet the missive provided more information than he’d ever had before, and it was definitely worth investigating. Fortunately Seamus had offered to accompany him, eager to visit England after a twenty year absence.

The coach came to a stop and Gavin sat up. The moment of truth had arrived. He would either discover his past or be a victim of a ruse. Either way, his life would never be the same.

“Ready, lad?” Seamus brushed the palm of his hand over the few strands of hair that stretched over his bald pate.

Gavin could tell his friend was forcing himself to remain nonchalant. Seamus was just as curious as he was, perhaps even more so. The man had invested the last eight years of his life, first treating Gavin, then training him to be his assistant. Gavin thought of him as more of a father than a physician. As far as he was concerned, Seamus Burns was the only father he’d ever had.

Nodding, Gavin adjusted the white cravat at his neck. The blasted thing was bloody uncomfortable, but supposedly necessary for a man of his position. He would rather dispense with it altogether, along with the stiff shirt, decorative waistcoat, and form fitting trousers. Instead he longed for the loose linen pants and long tunic he had in his suitcase. But he felt enough like an outsider. He didn’t need to look like one too.

The door opened and he stepped out of the carriage, Seamus not far behind him. The house standing before him was in obvious need of repair. Several of the cobblestones of the drive were loose, rust coated the wrought iron around the small porch, and the window panes were dingy. He could only imagine the condition of the inside.

Suddenly the front door flew open, and a tall, blond haired man with a slender build came bounding toward him.

“Gavin, old chap! You are a sight for sore eyes!” A grin broke out on his face as he gave Gavin a hearty hug.

Out of courtesy Gavin returned the embrace, but with little enthusiasm. He had no idea who this man was—perhaps his cousin? But if that was the case, he wouldn’t be all too happy to see him, at least according to what Buttons had said in his letter.

The gent stepped back, his joy tempered by Gavin’s lack of response. The man cocked his head to the side and examined his face. “What is it, mate? You look like you’ve seen a ghost, instead of your best friend.”

Ah. So this was Lord Chesreton, the man Cecil spoke of in the letter. Awkward silence filled the moment as Gavin tried to think of what to say. How does one tell his best friend he has no idea who he is?

He was saved from answering when a short, portly man exited the house and made his way toward Gavin, Seamus, and Lord Chesreton. “Lord Tamesly,” he said when he reached them. He extended his hand. “Welcome home, my lord. So good to see you after all this time.”

Gavin looked at the gentleman. He didn’t recognize him either, but he shook his hand. “Thank you,” was all he could think of to say.

“And this must be Dr. Burns.” The man turned and shook Seamus’ hand. “Cecil Buttons, Esquire.”

“Pleasure to meet you,” Seamus said.

The four men stood on the drive in front of the house, growing more ill at ease. Except for Seamus. Gavin knew he was quietly observing the situation, as was his way.

Cecil and Colin seemed to be waiting for Gavin to take the lead, so he said, “Shall we go inside?”

They expelled a collective sigh of relief, releasing the tension that had built among them all. Colin let out a nervous chuckle. “I took the liberty of pouring us some port from you private stock, Gav. I didn’t think you would mind. After all, we have much to celebrate.”

“No…not at all.” Gavin wracked his brain to figure out what port was. A drink, presumably. Seamus’ tastes ran between tea and scotch, and when he was particularly stressed he mixed them both. Gavin had refrained from alcohol altogether, preferring to keep his senses as clear as possible. Things were muddy enough as they were.

As they entered the house, his assumption about the disarray of the house had been accurate. He glanced at Cecil, who looked at him sheepishly.

“You have been gone a long time, my lord. I had to dismiss all the servants but one. She has done her best to keep up with everything…but it is a large house, as you can see.”

Guilt stabbed at him, although he didn’t know why. He hadn’t neglected his home on purpose. But the thought of people losing their jobs on his account caused a knot to form in his stomach. “It’s all right, Mr. Buttons. I know you did what you deemed best.”

Cecil’s thin lips twitched in a smile. “Thank you, my lord. Shall we adjoin in the study? I hate to plunge right into business matters, but time is of the utmost importance.”

Gavin nodded, and started to follow Cecil, but Seamus spoke up.

“Gavin, may I have a word?”

Turning around, Gavin looked at his friend, noting his serious expression. He nodded, then turned to Cecil and Lord Chesreton. “Please, go ahead. We will join you shortly.” He watched them depart, paying careful attention to the direction they went in. When they both entered a room close by, Gavin let out a breath of relief. The entire situation had been most uncomfortable. He was already starting to regret his decision to return. What he thought would be the key to the past

“So when are you going to tell them, lad?”

“I don’t know!” He rubbed the back of his neck, trying to ease the muscles that had suddenly grown stiff. “Sorry, Seamus, I don’t mean to lose my temper with you.”

“’Tis all right. Totally understandable. I am sure I would feel the same way were I in your position.” He moved to stand closer to Gavin, and lowered his voice. “But you can’t hide your condition from them. They already suspect something is wrong. Perhaps you should have prepared them when you replied to Mr. Buttons’ letter.”

“Perhaps. But I had hoped that once I landed on English soil, everything would have come back to me.” He shook his head at his folly. He should have known better. “What should I do now? I can’t just walk in that room and tell them I have amnesia”

“Amnesia?”

Both men turned at the sound of Lord Chesreton’s voice. The man’s mouth had dropped open in shock. “You have no idea who I am?”

Slowly, Gavin shook his head.

Lord Chesreton’s brought his hand to his forehead. “Blimey, that explains a lot, then, doesn’t it? Truth be told I imagined all kinds of scenarios you were involved with while you were gone, but losing your memory wasn’t one of them. How long have you had this?”

“Eight years.”

“Eight years? Since you left London?”

“Yes. At least, I suppose so.”

“So you don’t even know my name?”

“Other than your title, no. Mr. Buttons did say you were my closest friend.” Gavin paused. “Is that true?”

Lord Chesreton strode toward Gavin, then clasped his arm around Gavin’s shoulders. “Absolutely. We have known each other since we were tots.” The strained look on that had been on his face since Gavin’s arrival disappeared as he grinned.

For the first time since he’d received Buttons’ letter, Gavin smiled. He might not remember this man, but he knew he could trust him. If anyone would help him learn about his past, it would be him.

The man led Gavin toward the study. “First off, call me Colin,” he said. “Secondly, let’s have that port straight away. Seems we’re both going to need it.”

“Port?” Gavin asked, willing to admit his ignorance now without fear of looking foolish.

Colin threw back his head and laughed. “We have a lot of catching up to do!”


A Daring Return can be purchased from Amazon.

Kathy is giving away a copy of A Daring Return. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Sunday, August 30th to see if you've won. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar. OR you could sign up to have Patterings updates delivered to your inbox. If you do, it will give you a bonus entry in the giveaway, otherwise you can enter twice--once for each post you leave a comment on. :^)

Don't forget the other giveaways currently in progress. These drawings will be closing this evening and the winners will be posted with tomorrow's post.
Tammy Barley with Love's Rescue
Mary Moss with The Woman At the Well

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Like a Lake

The other morning I was making an early run to the airport. The sky was light, but it was still pretty dark on the highway. It didn't help that the trees were close to the road and the pavement was new.

After awhile the road seemed to broaden as we crossed a lake. Not only did the trees fall away, but suddenly it was lighter even though the sky was the same. What was the difference? The lake. Instead of absorbing and blocking the light from the sky, it reflected it.

This is something I've been doing a lot of thinking about lately. Reflecting, and more specifically, reflecting God.

The trees simply absorbed the light, preventing it from going any further than themselves. The lake reflected the light making it even lighter. It made me realize we do the sames things. We can be either a tree or a lake. If we're a tree, we just soak up the Light, basking in it. If we're a lake, we reflect the light even as we bask in it.

People can be in a group of Christians and still feel as though they're in the dark because the believers aren't reflecting any of God's Light, they're keeping it to themselves. It makes it so that when they run across Christians reflecting God, they really notice it.

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
~Proverbs 4:18

I want to be like that lake on a dark morning, shining brighter and brighter. I want to reflect God's Light so that those around me can see God better.

Check the sidebar for the two book giveaways still going on and join us!

Two Winners!

We have some winners for Nicole O'Dell's books! Esther and Cherie J! Congratulations, ladies! Send me your snail mail addresses. Thanks so much for participating in the Book Bonanza!

And Nicole, thanks so much for being here at Patterings this last week! It was wonderful having you!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

with Tammy Barley

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Welcome to Patterings, Tammy! Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
“Epiphany” is an interesting word choice. Years ago, after I graduated high school, I was praying alone, searching for God’s direction in my life. I asked him, “What am I supposed to do with my life?” I heard his voice in the air right beside me. He said, “You’re supposed to be a writer.” When God tells you out loud to do something, you quit guessing what you’re going to do. =)

What is your strangest habit?
My strangest habit is my frequent lack of habit. Perhaps that comes from moving from place to place my whole life—I just love constant change and newness. If there’s a good meteor shower in the middle of the night, I wake up the kids and we watch the meteors. If it’s pouring rain, I might be inspired to run in the rain (and splash barefoot in the biggest puddles). If I wake up one morning and itch to get out of the house, we might load us and the dog in the car and go visit family two states away. For me, spontaneity nicely counterbalances strict, repetitive schedules and of life’s have-tos.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Actually I love to conquer things I dread. I do, however, put off doing things I don’t like to do—like pulling weeds—but the only real dislike is getting started. Once a project is underway and I begin to see success, the dislike is replaced by the positive feeling of accomplishment.

Such a good point, Tammy! I've found that positive feeling of accomplishment is a huge encouragement--one that I try to remember when I'm procrastinating. =)
What would a perfect day for you look like?

How long is this day? =) Wake up after twelve hours of great sleep, meet up with a bunch of friends, eat blueberry muffins hot from the oven (the zero-fat-really-healthy kind--LOL), ride horseback over a miles-long path through a forest, it’s sunny, about 78 degrees with a cool breeze, go hang gliding over mountains, and finish the day in a remote log cabin eating strawberries swirled in chocolate in front of a cheery fireplace listening to a thunderstorm.

Wow! You really know how to plan a day! =)
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

Romance, suspense, mystery, historical, biography.

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
Gold raisins and popcorn. Not together.

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
God intends for us to work steadily and store up, like the ants in Aesop’s fable, but He also intends for us to know when to quit and live and to take time to touch others’ lives as well.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
Hundreds of them, subtly. My favorites are those that reveal how God helps us overcome impossible situations. I love that when a struggle involves God vs. Satan, God will always win.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Next summer book two in the Sierra Chronicles will be out, called Hope's Promise.
Jake and Jessica Bennett learn there was more to her parents’ deaths than they knew, and both the ranch and Jessica are in danger. Now they must quickly find the murderer . . . and discover for themselves how far they will go for love.

Thank you so much, Patty, for inviting me! What a fun, fun interview!

Thank you for being with us this week, Tammy!

You can keep up with Tammy at her website www.tammybarley.com.

Tammy is giving away a copy of Love's Rescue. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Wednesday, August 26th to see if you've won. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar. OR you could sign up to have Patterings updates delivered to your inbox. If you do, it will give you a bonus entry in the giveaway, otherwise you can enter twice--once for each post you leave a comment on. :^)

Don't forget the other giveaways currently in progress:
Nicole O'Dell with Truth or Dare AND All That Glitters
Mary Moss with The Woman At the Well

Friday, August 21, 2009

Meet Tammy Barley



Lynn Squire is hosting Fiction Friday today at her blog Faith, Fiction, Fun and Fanciful. Since I have an author spotlight going with Tammy Barley, I didn't post any fiction but you can pop over to Lynn's for hers and for links to others. Happy Friday!!

And now I'd like to introduce you to Tammy Barley...

Book Bonanza Banner

Tammy Barley has lived in 27 cities and town in 8 states (so far), including the West and the South, and has ridden horseback across deserts, mountains, and halfway across Arizona on a 10-day trip, one of the unforgettable adventures of her life. In her family tree you’ll find James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. Any wonder she writes Old West and Civil War era romances? When she isn’t writing fiction, she works freelance as a biographer, editor, ghostwriter, writing mentor, writes and publishes devotional series, and is a fiction contest judge.

You can keep up with Tammy at her website www.tammybarley.com.

Love’s Rescue
A Dividing Conflict
In 1863, the War Between the States is dividing more than a nation. To escape the conflict, Jessica Hale and her family flee their Kentucky home and head for Nevada Territory. Her brother, Ambrose, committed to the Confederates, rejoins the Kentucky militia and is disowned by his father. But the worst is yet to come.

A Heroic Kidnapper
When Unionists presume the family to be Confederate sympathizers, they set a devastating fire to their home. All alone and then “kidnapped” by cattleman Jake Bennett, Jessica is taken to a ranch deep in the Sierra Nevada wilderness. Can she overcome her resentment toward Jake for failing to save her family?

The Depths of Love
When Jake launches a plan to help Jessica’s brother escape from prison camp, she sees him for the honest, good-hearted Christian man that he is and now knows the depth of his love for her. Through the lingering smoke and smoldering ashes from her ruined home and murdered family, will Jessica see a future with Jake?



Here's an excerpt from Love’s Rescue.


Prologue

Carson City, Nevada Territory

April 1860

She was going to lose him. With trembling fingers, Jessica Hale pushed back the brown tendrils of hair the wind was whipping into her eyes. Further down the road, her brother handed the last of his cases to the driver on top of the stagecoach, then tossed his hat through the window onto a seat with an air of resolve. He turned and strode toward her.

His wavy, wind-tossed hair gleamed brightly in the morning sun, its sandy hue like gold coins dulled intermittently by shifting dust. His sky-blue eyes—eyes that gleamed with subtle mockery or shone with patient understanding—now attempted to disguise unspoken regret. He smoothed a hand over each of the sorrel coach horses and calmly took in the young town he was leaving behind. Jessica knew better. He was going to miss this—the town, their parents. But his heart called him home. Ambrose was every inch a Kentucky gentleman. He always had been. Her throat tightened.

“Jessica?”

She couldn’t help but smile. Jessica. Like always, he spoke her name with that deep, flowing timbre that made her think of the brook they had often played in as children.

“Now, what is that smile for?”

“I’ll miss the sound of your voice. It’s so pleasant.”

“It is?” Ambrose’s eyes sparkled at her in amusement. “You never told me that before.”

“Well, now you know.” She loved the Southern lilt of it, the quiet honor he wore just as naturally as his greatcoat. She took a deep breath to steady herself. “Are your bags loaded, then?”

“They are. The driver was kind enough to strap them down. With the rough going, I’ll get bounced out long before they will.”

Her smile faded. “Perhaps you should stay.”

“Jess….” Ambrose patiently drew her hand through the crook of his arm and tipped his head toward the road. “We have a few minutes left before the stage leaves. Let’s walk for a bit.”

Jess sighed in frustration but complied, letting her head fall against his shoulder as they walked. At the edge of town, she looked back at Carson City’s wide streets, lazy with the long, morning shadows of tall buildings and newly built frames that smelled of sawn wood. One by one, other pedestrians appeared, striding briskly; then came rattling wagons, kicking up trails of dust this way and that. The wind whipped at Jess’s skirt and Ambrose’s coat, cavorting among the silvery green desert sage leaves that fluttered around them. The sights and sensations that usually intrigued her had amalgamated into one frolicking, singing fool, playing cruelly to her burdened heart.

Jess’s gaze followed the road out of town, then lifted to rest on the peaks that rose high above. The Mexican people called these mountains the Sierra Nevadas—the snowy mountains. When she had come West with her family a year before, Jess had thought them magnificent. In a wild, untamed way, they reminded her of the Kentucky homeland they had left behind. Instead of the rolling green hills and broadleaf forests she had always known, the Sierras jutted boldly from the desert like a rare stone half buried in sand. Depending on the angle of the sun, their terrain was a glorious red or gold.

For a moment, Jess merely breathed, drawing in the fresh scent of the pinyon pines that dotted the distant slopes and mingled with the earthy aroma of sage. Only a few months ago, winter had prevailed, and so had the glittering snows on the Sierras.

Ambrose, dear Ambrose—had understood her need to be outdoors. He’d convinced their father a time or two to excuse him from work, then would take her riding amid the stark beauty of the mountains.

Their father.

Jess frowned, pushing back strands of hair that had torn from their heavy twist and were stinging her eyes. A brusque but shrewd businessman and horse breeder from Lexington, their father had brought the family West to escape the growing turbulence in the South, and here, his import business thrived. With the recent discovery of untold millions of dollars in gold and silver buried in the land, the eager-to-be-rich swarmed to the Comstock from every major seaport in the world. Those fortunate enough to strike a vein of the mother lode scrambled to Hale Imports to stake their claims in society by acquiring French wines, Venetian glassware, Turkish carpets, and handcrafted furnishings made of dark German wood.

A golden dream for many, perhaps, but not for Jess. Her family had considerable wealth, but possessions beyond life’s basic comforts didn’t matter to her. What did matter were her father, her mother, and her brother, Ambrose, and the strength they had always given one another in face of the threat of war between North and South.

And the threat had become considerable.

Jess tightened her grip on Ambrose’s arm. He patted her hand reassuringly.

Worse, her family hadn’t left war fever behind as her father had hoped they would. Its effects were sweeping across the

country like the unstoppable waves of the sea. Miners and other men in town chose sides as the conflict loomed nearer. Heated political discussions often erupted into fistfights in the streets. In the same way, tension had escalated within the Hale family as their loyalties divided. And now, Ambrose was about to return to Lexington—against his father’s will—to rejoin his militia unit. It was predicted that war would break out within a year. Two days earlier, when Ambrose had announced to Jess and their parents his intent to fight for the South, Jess had stood strong—stunned but unflinching. The announcement was followed by two days of her father and brother yelling and her mother pleading. A lifetime of paternal love was burning to cinders.

Their father was still so angry about his son’s decision that he had refused to see him to the stage stop, coldly disallowing all but the briefest of good-byes between mother and son.

Jess finally broke the silence. “I thought this place would be the answer, Ambrose. I thought here we would be safe from the war.” She stopped walking and tossed him a valiant smile. “What will I do without you?”

Ambrose considered her soberly. She’d hoped he would tease her gently. Not this time. “You’re seventeen now, Jess. At seventeen, most ladies stop concerning themselves with their families and set their eyes on marriage.”

“Marriage? Marriage! How could you suggest that?” She flung aside her earlier self-promise to remain calm. “This particular subject has never come up before, but since it has, let me tell you, Ambrose, I don’t need a husband to manage my life and order me about.”

“Jess—”

“I know you want to protect me, and I love you for it. But the South and its marrying traditions are a great distance away. Here, women are strong and independent”—she fought

to control the anger in her voice— “and so am I. I’ve seen too many wives’ hopes destroyed by their husbands’ selfish wants and ambitions. I could never live my life under some man’s boot heel. I’ll make my way on my own.”

Ambrose gave her a reluctant smile. “All right. There’s no talking you into an idea your mind is set against. Keep yourself busy, then. Tell Father you want to keep books at Hale Imports. You’ve been schooled the same as I have. You’ll do well.”

Jess’s legs nearly gave out. “Keeping his accounts is your job!” Ambrose wasn’t coming back at all—not even after the war. She really was going to lose him.

“No, Jess. Not anymore.” He shifted his gaze to the territory around them. “This place has never fit me the way it has you. That house in Kentucky is our house. Its lands are Hale lands. I was born and raised at Greenbriar, and so were you. That’s my home, Jess.” He faced her squarely. “When the war comes, I’ll defend it, whether the invading army is from the North or the South.”

Jess’s throat ached to beg him to stay. Their friendship was special, rare, in spite of growing up together amid talk of secession and war. Or perhaps because of it. She wanted to keep her brother close—and safe. Yet she forced down the urge to give words to her feelings. Ambrose’s blood flowed for Greenbriar, for Lexington. A year away hadn’t changed that. Yes, she loved him. Enough to understand that. Enough to let him go.

“I guess I always knew you’d go back,” she admitted, “and I understand, I really do. I just hate knowing that you’ll be right in the middle of the fighting.” She raised a hand. “And I hate that Father’s turned his back on you when you need him most! How could he do that to you? How could he do that to Mother?”

All at once, she knew. “He’s doing this because of Broderick, isn’t he?”

Broderick had died as a baby, when Jess was only five. Even now, she could clearly remember holding her little brother as his fever raged, could remember how helpless she had felt when she’d lain awake at night listening to his pathetic coughs in the nursery down the hall. Jess had been devastated when he died, but their mother…their mother had never been the same. Her joy and laughter Jess knew about only because Ambrose had told her of the way she had once been.

Ambrose acknowledged the fact. “Father doesn’t think Mother could bear to lose another son.”

Jess nodded slowly. “Then you’d best stay alive.”

The corner of his sandy mustache lifted. “You’re a Hale, that’s for certain. Idealistic and stubborn, through and through.”

“Hopefully stubborn enough to get through to Father. You know I can’t let things remain the way they are between the two of you.”

“Jess, I’d like to warn you against—”

“That would be pointless.” At his gentle frown of censure, she ordered her thoughts and explained. “For as long as I can remember, you were the one who held our family together. Not Father. Even when he was home, it was not Mother or anyone else, but you. You reasoned with Father when business made him unreasonable, you were a constant comfort to Mother, and you sat by my bed at night when storms and thunder threatened to shake the house apart.”

“You just wanted company while you were awake.” He lightly tugged a lock of her hair in a teasing way. “You never feared storms or anything else.”

“For the past few years, I’ve feared the coming war.” She lifted her chin and, with a mental step forward that she would never retrace, left the remnants of her childhood behind. “You won’t be here to keep us together. Now I’ll take your place and do what you’ve always done, and rely on solid Hale

determination to see me through. Ambrose, don’t worry about Mother, or about Father’s anger at your decision to go. I’ll hold our family together, and I’ll do all I can to change his heart.”

Gratitude battled concern in his face as he studied his sister, but Jess knew that he also understood firsthand the inborn loyalty that drove her. “Just be careful you don’t jeopardize your relationship with him on my account,” he said.

“I will be careful.”

There was a movement near the stagecoach. A mailbag was slung aboard.

Jess’s heart lurched. It was almost time for him to go.

Ambrose patted her hand and looked intently into her eyes. “I don’t know when I’ll see you again. We’d better say good­bye.”

“No!” She shook her head, fighting sudden tears. “I won’t say good-bye.”

“Jess, I don’t want to frighten you, but if the war comes—”

“Then the war will end! Ambrose, if we say good-bye, it’s as if we won’t see each other again. I can’t do that. I have to believe—I have to know—that one day you’ll come back.”

“Believe it,” he said, his gaze firm beneath his brows, “because I intend to.”

She tightened her grip until it pained her. “Then we don’t say good-bye?”

He hesitated, then shook his head to assure her. “We don’t say good-bye.”

Suddenly, Jess recalled what she had wanted to do. With a quick tug, she untied the green satin ribbon of the pendant necklace she wore, slipped the ribbon free, and pressed it into his hand. “I’ll want that back one day,” she said. “Until then, keep the best memories of us all close to your heart.”

Ambrose smiled and tucked the ribbon into his shirt pocket with a little pat. “I can’t think of a better place to put them.”

Another movement drew her gaze. The coach driver climbed into his seat.

“Ambrose?”

“Pray for me, Jess. I’ll write to you as often as I can, I promise.”

Ambrose hurried toward the stage, Jess’s hand tucked in his. At the door, he pulled her into his arms and hugged her warmly.

“Will you write to me?”

Jess buried her face into the gray cloth of his coat. “Just try to stop me.”

He kissed the top of her head, briefly hugged her tighter, and then stepped away.

After Ambrose had swung aboard the coach, he turned and leaned out the window. His blue eyes shone. “The Lord has a plan, Jess!” he called. “Remember that!”

The driver cracked the reins and the six-in-hand pulled the stage away from Carson City, away from her. Jess watched until the coach disappeared through a pass in the mountains.

Keep him safe, Lord, she prayed. Whatever lies ahead, please keep him safe.

It was all she could do not to run for her horse and go after him.

Near Perryville, Kentucky

October 1862

His boots firm in the stirrups, Ambrose leaned over the heaving neck of the mare as he charged into the sunlit field. Well-muscled and dappled gray, the mare tore up stones with her thrashing hooves while Ambrose’s cotton shirt ballooned

behind him and snapped in the blowing heat. His fear for General Bragg’s paltry command of sixteen thousand burned like liquid fire in his belly, and with heartrending despair, he recalled Mr. Lincoln’s reputed strong conviction that “to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game.”

His colonel’s rapidly scrawled reconnaissance report was secured in a leather pouch tucked into his waistband. It was the only warning Bragg would have that the Yankee advance at Frankfort was merely a diversion, and that the whole of General Buell’s Union army was, in fact, moving toward Bragg’s position. Buell meant to take Kentucky.

The enemy was fifty-five thousand strong.

Sixteen thousand up against fifty-five. Ambrose whipped a sleeve across his forehead to blot the sweat seeping from underneath his hat. If he didn’t reach Bragg in time for the general to pull back and regroup, Kentucky would fall to the Federals—and to their torches. Ambrose tilted his head to hear the distant pum, pum of cannon fire.

Fields dotted with white and blue wildflowers blurred by. This was his home, his land, and now, Greenbriar was his, too. Ambrose frowned as he recalled the letter written by his stiff-necked, outraged father—the sole one he’d sent—in which he had given him Greenbriar. His father intended the house as an accusatory monument to the heritage he believed his son had betrayed by ultimately fighting for the South. But to Ambrose, if Greenbriar survived the war, it would again become his home, his livelihood, and the place his old bones would be laid. He yearned to fall in love there, to marry there, to raise children amid all its gurgling streams and grassy paddocks. Children who would love it as he always had, and as Jess had.

Memories intruded—memories of the day Jess was born and the moment he first held her. He had been seven, and the tiny, warm bundle that stared up at him with curious green eyes had

captivated his heart. As she grew, it was to him that she would come for comfort and advice; with him, she shared her inmost thoughts. He had taught her more about the person she could become than their parents ever had, and she had matched his strength and dedication toward those whom she loved.

Now, Jess was his proponent and confidante. She wrote to him as often as he wrote to her, discreetly hiding his letters from their father. He knew many of their letters never made it through enemy lines since, in letters he did receive, Jess frequently referred to events he was unaware of, as well as to war news he had previously penned. Even so, they both persisted in sending them. As promised, she patiently worked to sway their father’s heart toward his son.

And she remained firm in her belief that her brother would survive the war.

His mind turned to the letter he had written to her only a few hours ago. He imagined her reading it at night by candlelight, the flame’s glow illuminating her casually knotted hair, highlighting the loose strands she rarely bothered with. He could almost hear the smooth flow of her Southern voice as if she were reading it aloud.

My dearest Jessica,

Like others here, I often look ahead to the end of the

war and dream of what I will do after.

For me, it has never been a question. The day I muster

out, I will come without hesitation to all of you there, to

make up lost years of brothering for you and baby Emma,

and to find a way to repair the damage between Father

and me. I will remain until Mother’s worries for me have

gone, and she sees her family healed. Until then, Jessica,

you must continue to convey to her news of my well-being,

and tell her of my unflagging determination to return to you all.

Then, as Grandfather would have wished for me to do, I will come back home to Greenbriar and rebuild what the war has ruined. I’ll fill its paddocks again with the prized horseflesh that has always graced its lands.

I yearn to walk again the brick path leading to the porch, to step into the downstairs hall and feel it welcome me home,…

Startled, Ambrose entered a town huddled beneath a haze of smoke. Perryville! The mare was slick with sweat and foam, but she had a bold heart, the likes of which he’d rarely seen in an animal. Spying a cluster of saddled mounts, Ambrose halted before a red brick house. The gray tugged at the reins while he listened to a soldier’s instructions on how to find General Bragg.

Ambrose immediately headed northwest on the river road. The roar of battle grew deafening. Yankee wounded and dead lay scattered over the hills.

He topped a rise. Below, gray-clad soldiers swarmed through thick smoke into the enemy, several falling beside their comrades. All around, cannon shells burst in sprays of jagged metal and earth.

“Lord in heaven,” Ambrose murmured, “help us all.”

Urging the mare along a path behind the lines, Ambrose ducked the whizzing cannon fire. He pulled out his leather pouch and withdrew the message.

…to throw open the nursery doors where we played, and step into the sunshine flowing through the window glass. Do you remember how we watched from that high

window the newborn foals bounding about? And the way you were ever leaning over the sill for a better look, know­ing that I would hold you safe? After the war I must find myself a young lady, and convince her that we should fill the room anew with children’s laughter.…

A cannon shell exploded, and a terrible pressure struck his chest. The mare screamed. Groaning through his teeth, Ambrose clung to her neck. To the west, rifles barked flashes of orange as men in blue and gray surged into their enemies.

Ambrose pressed forward, searching the high ridges for the familiar starred collar and white-streaked beard of General Bragg.

…Lastly, I admit to looking ahead to sharing my life with someone who, like you, will write to me when I must be away, who will hold warm thoughts of me in my absence. I pray she may ever keep hope alive for our children that I will return to them, just as you, my sister, have done for our family. You have kept me alive through this war, Jess, for I know one by whom I will always be loved, always be remembered fondly, and always be welcomed home.…

Ambrose kicked the gray forward with all the strength he had. Fortunately, she lunged in response, not wavering at the unsteady weight on her back. Ambrose fought through the thickening fog in his mind and gripped the dispatch tighter.

A sudden burning burst along his thigh, and the smoky daylight and soldiers’ movements began to dim. Beneath him, the mare pulled ahead, pitching like a rocking chair. He imagined the stern face of General Bragg turning in surprise as he approached.

…I keep your ribbon in my pocket and frequently feel it

there. When I think of you, as I often do, the single thought

that comes is this: I cannot wait to see you again.…

He felt himself reaching out to her, to Jess. Wanting to see her one more time, to tell her how dear she was to him, had always been. He was fading. The message. He couldn’t feel it. Did the general receive the message?

Ambrose no longer knew what direction the mare took but threaded his fingers through her mane, imagining he was weaving hands with Jess.

…Your ever loving brother,…

No sky fell under his eyes; he saw only a lone field of dappled gray, oddly crossed with streams of red.

“Jess…,” he rasped.

Ambrose.


You can purchase Love's Rescue from Amazon and CDB.

Tammy is giving away a copy of Love's Rescue. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Wednesday, August 26th to see if you've won. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar. OR you could sign up to have Patterings updates delivered to your inbox. If you do, it will give you a bonus entry in the giveaway, otherwise you can enter twice--once for each post you leave a comment on. :^)

Don't forget the other giveaways currently in progress:
Nicole O'Dell with Truth or Dare AND All That Glitters
Mary Moss with The Woman At the Well

Tomorrow is an interview with Tammy Barley. See ya then!

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